By Julia Zdrojewski
The Dance Department at The College at Brockport was well represented October 25th-26th at the Northeast Popular Culture Association in Conference held at Saint Michael’s College in Colchester, Vermont.
I had the privilege of attending the Popular Culture Conference with fellow graduate student, Allison Bohman, as well as dance faculty members Nicole Kaplan, Karl Rogers and Dr. Maura Keefe. NEPCA was first founded in 1974 and its intentions include advancing research and promoting dialogues around popular and/or American culture.
Nicole, Allison and I left for Vermont in the early afternoon on Friday and were able to soak in a little bit of Vermont later in the evening while driving around the busy streets of Colchester and Burlington; full of restaurants and pedestrians walking around. The weather may have been cold that weekend, but Vermont itself was beautiful, making the scenic drive enjoyable.
The next morning was devoted to the conference- finding Saint Michaels College, registering and reading our papers over one last time before reading them aloud to graduate students, independent scholars and faculty members from a variety of schools around the country. I read my paper during the first dance panel of the day, along with a scholar from Boston College. Afterwards, Dr. Maura Keefe, who also acted as the moderator for the dance panels, led a discussion about our research independently, as well as how they were connected (my research was on feminism in dance and my fellow panelist discussed the punk values of mosh pits). Listening to other papers was an interesting and insightful experience, and I enjoyed meeting, connecting and networking with individuals from around the country who are invested in their research about dance just as much as I am.
In addition to sharing my own writing, I was also able to listen to the work of my peers. Allison Bohman spoke of the geopolitics and gestures present in Nazi Germany, while Nicole Kaplan read a paper about her experience choreographing for Brockport’s chapter of One Billion Rising. In addition, Nicole was able to share media from the event, so that those who were present for her panel could physically see the event that she was describing in detail. This panel also featured Dr. Barbara LeSavoy, from the Women and Gender Studies Department at Brockport. Dr. LeSavoy read a paper about her experience with One Billion Rising as well, which took place on February 14th of this past year to raise awareness about domestic violence.
Attending the conference this year was a really wonderful experience. My peers and I were able to share the research that we have worked hard on, hear papers from other dance researchers from around the country, and talk with scholars about one another’s work. While the weekend went quickly, it felt full of experiences that I am grateful for as a graduate student representing the Dance Department at The College at Brockport.